Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced his third run for the White House, becoming the first Republican to enter the 2024 presidential race and brushing aside criticism over the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and recent intraparty anger about the GOP’s struggles in the midterm elections.

Trump, 76, declared his candidacy in Palm Beach, Fla., almost two years out from the November 2024 national elections and after publicly flirting with a pre-midterm entry over the summer. Official paperwork forming the “Donald J. Trump for President 2024″ campaign committee was filed with the Federal Election Commission just prior to his speech.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 15, 2022. -

“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump told a crowded ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago estate. “Together, we will be taking on the most corrupt forces and entrenched interests imaginable.”

In a gloomy speech woven with conspiracy theories, the twice-impeached former president described “blood-soaked” American streets and said the county is “being destroyed.”

Trump did not lead his remarks with the election lies that have animated much of his post-presidency, though he did baselessly claim China played an active role in deciding his 2020 race with President Biden. TV networks cut away from the speech after Trump declared his candidacy.

“Our country is in a horrible state — we’re in grave trouble,” Trump said. “This is not a task for a politician or a conventional candidate. This is a task for a great movement.”

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 15, 2022. -

During the speech, Biden responded with a tweet that said “Donald Trump failed America.” The post included a video highlighting Trump’s central role in erasing federal abortion rights and inspiring the mob that laid waste to the Capitol.

Trump has continued to hold a brisk schedule of rallies this year, unbowed by a criminal investigation that has included an FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago estate, or by a House probe that exposed his erratic behavior during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Trump, still popular among rank-and-file Republicans, appears the early front-runner to earn the Republican nomination for the White House, though the field has yet to take shape.

The timing of his 2024 announcement is exceptionally early. Most candidates for the White House launch their campaigns within a year before the election.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 15, 2022.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is seen as the best-positioned Republican to take down Trump, and the former president has conjured a nickname for the Florida executive: “Ron DeSanctimonious.” Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, is another possible contender.

Trump’s often-damaged political brand was dented anew by the midterm elections. Frustrated Republicans blamed him for their party’s inability to continue a pattern of out-of-power parties scoring sweeping wins midway through a president’s first term.

Though results are still coming in, Democrats kept control of the Senate and are on track to limit any new Republican majority in the House to a tiny margin. Trump-backed candidates struggled.

Republican strategists have expressed skepticism about Trump’s general election viability, and anti-Trump forces within the party were emboldened by the midterms.

Still, Trump won almost 140 million votes in two presidential general elections, and remains a formidable force in American politics — even stripped of his social media accounts, trailed by investigations and damaged by his 2020 election lies.

“He has a very strong base within the Republican primary voter electorate that makes it very difficult to take him on,” said Gunner Ramer, the political director of the Republican Accountability Project, an anti-Trump group.

During his first run at the White House, the Queens-born Trump said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Ave. and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” He beat Hillary Clinton in the general election after steamrolling the GOP primary field.

In his single chaotic term in office, Trump said white supremacist groups included “very fine people,” suspended immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries and suggested human bleach injections as a COVID-fighting method.

Americans rejected Trump’s divisive and turbulent presidency in the 2020 election: Biden beat him by 74 votes in the Electoral College and about 7 million ballots in the popular vote.

Trump falsely said he won, and inspired legions of his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress prepared to certify the results.

Biden, 79, has said he intends to run for reelection as the oldest presidential incumbent ever, but he has not launched a campaign. He may be especially motivated to take on Trump.

In a September speech in Philadelphia, Biden said that “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

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